Hamilton proposed Button as 2010 teammate (GMM) Lewis Hamilton has revealed he proposed Jenson Button to be his 2010 teammate.
Despite previously saying he was happy to remain alongside his teammate of the past two years Heikki Kovalainen, the 2008 world champion said on Friday that he phoned boss Martin Whitmarsh with his recommendation.
"One thing you may not know is that I actually called Martin and said, 'What about Jenson?'," Hamilton told British media at the launch of the MP4-25.
"It was before they had any negotiations," said the Briton.
Dreyer & Reinbold to announce 2-car team A press conference will be held Tuesday, February 2nd, at the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing headquarters to announce the team’s two-car entry and driver lineup for the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season.
Updated GM Statement on Pontiac Vibe Recalls Amid the media attention over the Toyota recalls for possible unintended acceleration that include the Pontiac Vibe, many customers are wondering whether it is safe to drive their 2009 and 2010 models of the Vibe.
Based on GM’s experience, the Vibe is safe to drive.
Prior to the Toyota accelerator pedal recall of Jan. 21 and the inclusion of the Vibe in the October 2009 recall for floor mat entrapment, GM had not received any relevant customer complaints in the 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. Nor were there any complaints found in a search of U.S. and Canadian databases.
No. 99 team rebuilding car Johnson wreckedUPDATE A repaired No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley took to Daytona International Speedway right on schedule for Friday morning practice after the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing crew worked until 4 a.m. last night to repair the team’s “Red Dragon” Daytona Prototype following a heavy accident on Thursday. The team’s hard work and perseverance paid off as the No. 99 was third fastest in both the morning session as well final practice for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona on Friday afternoon.
“I was in the pits until about midnight last night watching the guys put the engine in and the tranny in, and stuff, and just to see their spirits and their enthusiasm after I put them through such a tough day really brought my spirits up,” said Johnson, who was uninjured in the Thursday incident. “These guys are top notch and I am fortunate to drive here at GAINSCO and look forward to a good race.”
On the surface it looks basically the same. But behind the scenes it’s a whole new look for the Furniture Row Racing team, which made significant personnel moves during the offseason as it readies to return to a full 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule in 2010.
The team's driver (Regan Smith), car number (78) and car manufacturer (Chevrolet) remain the same for the new campaign, which kicks off Sunday Feb. 14 with NASCAR’s traditional season opener -- the Daytona 500.
But when you get beyond the driver, car make and car number, the Denver-based Furniture Row team is quite different than it has been in recent years. For starters, more than 20 new employees were hired during the offseason, increasing the team’s growing staff to more than 60.
The checkered flag, the sight every driver dreams of seeing first when they cross the start/finish line at Daytona International Speedway, has a new state-of-the-art home.
Race fans attending Hershey’s Milk & Milkshakes Speedweeks 2010 events will see the debut of the newly installed flagstand complete with a full-color LED display that will overlook the legendary tri-oval of the “World Center of Racing.”
The flagstand, made of structural steel and standing 22 feet tall from the race track, will see its first racing action beginning with this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race and the Fresh From Florida 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Other interesting statistics behind the one-of-a-kind flagstand include:
· Approximately 60 square feet space at the top of flagstand for the starter · Eighteen steps to climb to the top of flagstand · The high resolution LED display is capable of showing race information, live video and replays as well as graphics and animations in 4.4 trillion colors. · Impressive 49,920 pixel LED display that measures nearly four-feet tall and 22.5-feet wide. · Two new light tubes featuring super-bright green, red and amber LEDs above the display will flash the flag colors and provide fans and drivers greater visibility of the racing conditions.
Hey Chip, why not let Mike Hull run the team for you, and you can be IRL CEO?
Chip Ganassi’s passion for auto racing started early.
When he was 5 years old, Ganassi’s father went to Indianapolis to take part in an equipment auction and took in the 1963 Indy 500 while he was there. The elder Ganassi came home with an 8 millimeter film of the race.
“I watched it on the living room wall almost every night,’’ Chip Ganassi said. “If there’s anything you want to know about the `63 race, I’ve watched it about 6,000 times.’’
That grainy film was the catalyst for Ganassi’s career in racing that eventually took him to Indianapolis as the fastest rookie qualifier in 1982. He drove in the big event five times with a best finish of eighth in 1983. His racing career was effectively cut short by a head injury in an Indycar crash at Michigan in 1984. But Ganassi wasn’t ready to give up his love affair with the sport.
Q&A with Jensen Button This is the first time you’ve seen the car with the world champion’s number one on the nosecone, how does that make you feel? “It feels fantastic! Winning the world championship last year was such a momentous achievement for me, but the winter has gone so quickly, I’ve been so busy and so focused on the year ahead, that the 2009 season already feels such a long time ago. It all still feels slightly surreal.
“But it’s an incredible feeling. I’m incredibly proud to be standing here today knowing I’ll be carrying the number one for the whole season: that’s a great responsibility but also a great honor. It’s something I’m relishing. It looks so cool too!”
The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team today revealed its brand new MP4-25 chassis – the car in which reigning world champion Jenson Button and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton will contest the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Here are Hamilton's thoughts on the new car and the upcoming season.
What do you think of the new car? “It looks brilliant. I’ve seen just how much effort and attention has gone into making this car what it is, we’ve been pushing like crazy to find the performance and I think you can see for yourselves that the result is something that looks very special, and very uncompromising. Of course, it’s still too early to tell exactly how we’ll fare against our rivals, but, after the pace we showed in the second half of last year, I feel very confident that we’ll be able to maintain that momentum, and that we’ll have a very competitive season.”
Ferrari technicians rise to the challenge "Revolution for victory" Aldo Costa and Nicolas Tombazis have a clear conscience: the technical director and chief designer have thought long and hard about the F10, revolutionizing all that could be revolutionized after the disappointing experience of the F60. But they admit that the unease that always accompanies the launch of a new racing car is this year further complicated by uncertainties about the rules. “The tires have changed in terms of structure, mix and size but we just have four test sessions to experiment and adapt them to the single-seater,” explained Costa. In addition to this we have regulations that despite all efforts have obscure corners and grey areas. “We were put in a very unpleasant position last year and we still think that the double diffuser is illegal. Maybe the saga will just carry on.” What he meant was that someone may cunningly turn up at the start of the season with solutions that their opponents would then be forced to challenge. Tombazis admitted that, “The double diffuser allows a lot of room for experimentation and this is what worries us.”
NASCAR cutting all race purses As part of its cost-cutting measures, NASCAR is decreasing the amount it will pay teams in race winnings by approximately 10 percent in 2010. Dover Motorsports Chief Executive Officer Denis McGlynn told financial analysts about the cut during a conference call Thursday, and NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed it Friday morning. Purses in all three national series Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck will decrease. The move will help the tracks, which pay purse fees and a separate sanction fee to NASCAR. Part of the purse fees include television money tracks get 90 percent of the television money allocated for a race (NASCAR keeps the other 10 percent), and the tracks then must put 25 percent of the total television money allocated for the race back into the purse. The tracks then also contribute additional purse fees, as computed by NASCAR, with other contingency awards also added to the final purse. International Speedway Corp. officials reported Thursday that they expect television money will increase by about 2.5 percent this year but ticket revenues and other motorsports-related revenues are expected to drop 4-9 percent.(Scene Daily)
Di Montezemolo blames himself for losing Schumacher Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes F1 legend Michael Schumacher would have raced in red this season had the F1 rules allowed the Italian team to run a third car.
di Montezemolo fears he unwittingly triggered Schumacher’s defection to rivals Mercedes after trying to get the German to replace the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari last season.
That comeback was thwarted by a recovering neck injury, but di Montezemolo thinks that from then on Schumacher was determined to race in F1 again - and, with no seat at Ferrari, he accepted the offer from Mercedes.
Honda recalls 646,000 cars Honda Motor Co (7267.T) said on Friday it would recall a total 646,000 units of the Fit/Jazz and City models globally, including 140,000 in the United States. The recall covers the models sold in North America, South America, Europe, South Africa and Asia, but not Japan, a spokeswoman said.
The Fit is Honda's best-selling model in Japan.
Honda said the recall was to fix a defective master switch, which could cause water to enter the power window switch and in some cases cause a fire.
There were three reported cases of fires due to the defect, two in the United States and one in South Africa, the spokeswoman said.
Video: Cadillac CTS-V wows crowd in Shanghai Thousands of spectators gathered at Shanghai's Formula 1 Circuit to watch a team of professional stunt drivers perform daring maneuvers with Cadillacs in celebration of the car's introduction to China. Be sure to watch John Heinricy and the Cadillac CTS-V set the production sedan record at the F1 course with a lap of 2:32.80.
Major activation underway for Brazil IndyCar race Promoters of the São Paulo Indy 300 have several activation plans in place to promote the IZOD IndyCar Series season-opener in Brazil, including media buys and ad placement on national television and in national print publications.
Ad placement promoting the São Paulo Indy 300 on Bandeirantes Group will be nationwide in Brazil and will be included in broadcast television, on radio networks and in major newspapers and magazines.
Another activation activity to promote the event includes the exhibition of an IZOD IndyCar Series display at the Anhembi Convention Center in São Paulo, one of the largest event grounds in South America. The display has been exhibited near one of the convention center's entrances since December 2009 and has been viewed by thousands of people.
IndyCar open test dates update The Indy Racing League announced Jan. 12 the 2010 open test periods for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, beginning at Barber Motorsports Park Feb. 24, the only open test to be held prior to the start of the 2010 season. An in-season testing day for both series' is slated for May 3-4 at Kentucky Speedway.
"The way the 2010 schedule falls allowed for the opportunity for our teams to focus their preseason plans on the road and street course events to open the season," said Brian Barnhart, president of competition and racing operations for the Indy Racing League. "By shifting the oval testing portion to in-season open test dates, teams have the option of keeping their equipment in road-course trim until they are ready to focus on the oval portion of the schedule, including the month of May at Indianapolis."
IZOD commercial paying big benefits to IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series commercial spots were broadcast during the NFL NFC and AFC championship games January 24, and were seen by almost 100 million viewers, in a continued promotional effort by IZOD to promote the season-opening event, the São Paulo Indy 300, on the Streets of São Paulo, Brazil, March 14.
The NFC and AFC championship games averaged 52.9 million viewers -- the NFL's most-viewed championship Sunday since 1982 (60.2 million average). Fox's telecast of the New Orleans Saints' 31-28 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings was watched by 57.9 million. Excluding Super Bowl telecasts, the game marked TV's most-viewed program since 1998.
The Indianapolis Colts' 30-17 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC was watched by 46.9 million people on CBS. It was the largest audience for an AFC title game since 1986
Continental Expands GRAND-AM Commitment, Will Become Official Tire of Rolex Series Continental is expanding its commitment to GRAND-AM Road Racing and will become the official tire of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, starting with the 2011 season. The new official series status complements the company's previously announced title sponsorship of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
"Continental Tire is committed to being a leading force in the motorsports community, and becoming the official tire of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is part of that strategy," said Bill Caldwell, vice president of sales and marketing, Continental Tire. "The Rolex series is one of the most highly-regarded racing series in the U.S., and will be a perfect format to emphasize the capabilities of our Continental ExtremeContact ultra-high performance tires. We are honored and excited that GRAND-AM has selected Continental to partner with them as the official tire of this series."
Whitmarsh surprised new teams did not buy Toyota car (GMM) Martin Whitmarsh on Friday said he is surprised one of F1's new teams for 2010 did not snap up the car built by Toyota.
Toyota elected to withdraw from the sport at the end of last year, but its Cologne headquarters had already penned a design for the 2010 season.
"Toyota built two cars that were available from Christmas, and I am rather surprised that some of them did not do that -- they rather looked a gift horse in the mouth," the McLaren team boss said at the launch of the MP4-25.
Ultimately, the complete TF110 was acquired by Stefan GP, but the Serbian outfit does not yet have an official entry to race in 2010.
Move over Danica, racing has a new sex goddess in Maryeve Dufault
The FAZZT Race Team has taken the initial steps into creating a development program with the signing of Canadian Maryeve Dufault.
"As we continue to build the FAZZT Race Team programs we have an incredible amount of support from Canadian companies for our Canadian driver and team," explained team COO Jim Freudenberg. "When the opportunity arose to meet Maryeve and discuss supporting and developing her racing career we saw it as a great opportunity for our team and partners to continue to develop racing talent from Canada. Her racing skill and understanding of the commercial side of racing combined with her marketability make her a great teammate for Alex and FAZZT. "
Maryeve, a native of Sorel, Quebec, has an extensive racing background in the ladder series including karting, Formula Jim Russell, Skip Barber, Formula BMW, Star Mazda and a stint testing for Formula 3 in England. "I am a racer and from a very young age I loved the rush of adrenaline I got from racing," said Maryeve. "And don't let the feminine side of me fool you, I am very competitive and I am in racing to win." Maryeve is currently driving in the Rotax International Karting Series and continuing to develop her racing skills.
Maryeve came to the attention of FAZZT Race Team driver Alex Tagliani during her racing in the Rotax International Series. "Maryeve is a very talented driver who is driven by her commitment to the sport," said Alex. "We are looking forward to having her as a part of the FAZZT Race Team and hope that we can play a part in continuing to develop her skills and talent as a driver."
FAZZT Race Team will assist Maryeve in her sponsorship development with the intent to field her in IndyCar development series events and also the Nascar Canadian Tire Series events with Tagliani's Canadian Tire Series team. For more information on Maryeve go to www.fazztraceteam.com
Finland's 2007 Formula One champion Kimi Raikkonen has crashed on his first competitive event driving for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team.
Raikkonen was placed second overall in the Arctic Lapland Rally when his car left the road and crashed into a tree on the event's second stage, the 23km Aittajärvi.
Kimi and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom were unhurt in the incident, but their C4 World Rally Car sustained damage to its right-hand front corner. With help from spectators the pair eventually got the car back on the road and underway again, but the episode cost them more than 15 minutes on the stage, and more than 20 minutes of penalty time.
Ferrari calls off Fiorano run Ferrari has been forced to completely cancel its run in the new car at Fiorano this week. Felipe Massa had been set to drive the F10 on the team's private track for a promotional video although poor weather conditions have prevented the outing from taking place on both Thursday and Friday.
With Ferrari having been the first team to reveal its brand-new car on Thursday, it had hoped to reschedule the run for Friday although cold and icy conditions remain at the venue located adjacent to the team's Maranello factory.
However, Ferrari will be present for the start of official pre-season testing in Valencia next week, with Massa in the car on Monday before handing over to team-mate Fernando Alonso for the following two days of the 3-day meeting.
Toyota has 2 possible fixes for pedal recall Toyota has two possible fixes for 2.3 million vehicles it has targeted for accelerator pedals that could stick open, but the automaker doesn't expect to have the repairs available before Monday. Even as the Japanese automaker expanded the pedal recall to vehicles in China and Europe, a U.S. House committee ordered it and federal safety officials to testify Feb. 25 about the recall and a separate issue with floor mats that now includes 5.4 million vehicles.
With eight models, including some of its top-selling Camry sedans, sitting in dealer lots unable to be sold, the costs to Toyota rise every day a fix isn't ready. One analyst said Toyota could lose 20,000 sales if the order lasts a week.
Some NASCAR pit road rules changes this year NASCAR had some media folks over at its R&D Center to go over the pit road rules for this season. A few things that were interesting:
A change this season is that NASCAR is going to enforce speeding on pit road more. Remember when a wrecked car would come to pit road, the crew would furiously make repairs and the car would fire down pit road faster than the speed limit to stay on the lead lap? Speeding penalty was no big deal because it only put the driver at the rear of the field. He still got to stay on the lead lap. New this year is that speeding is speeding. NASCAR will not allow such action again. What that means is that crews will have to complete their work sooner knowing they can't speed on pit road to stay on the lead lap.
As in the past, teams are allowed a 4.99 mph allowance before being penalized for speeding on pit road.
Another change this year is if a car is entering pit road or just entered pit road when the caution comes out (thus closing pit road), the driver can go down pit road (without stopping in his stall) while maintaining pit road speed and NASCAR will put the driver back in his spot when he entered pit road. There have been times guys entered pit road just as it closed because of a caution and never had a chance to react and all but had their day (or a good part of it) ruined with losing a lap.
You know how there are times when a NASCAR official in the pits will kick a tire back toward the pit wall and other times they don't? Here is what NASCAR tells its officials on those situations: If you (the official) don't have to move out of the way to knock the tire back, that is fine. If an official has to move out of position to do so, then let it go. The reasoning to allow officials to even knock the tire back is a safety issue. If an official can do so without getting out of position, then it prevents the tire from getting hit by a car and knocked back into that official or others on pit road.
NASCAR penalizes drivers for running over air hoses, yet there are cases when a driver won't be penalized for doing so. Think of it this way: On a four-tire pit stop where the front tire changer comes over to the left side, the air hose might not flip over completely away from the car. If the car runs over a small portion (small the key) then NASCAR more than likely will let it go. Hampton Roads
Carl Long looking to get back on track Eight months after a $200,000 fine crippled Long's self-owned team and sent shockwaves through the sport, he's struggling to survive amidst a cavalcade of hard-luck circumstances. "Last year's deal" involved a crippling penalty that still puzzles most in the NASCAR garage. Bringing his self-owned #46 to an exhibition race, the All-Star Showdown, Long's car cooked an engine and headed to the garage by Lap 3. But during a random teardown in post race inspection, NASCAR discovered that its motor exceeded size limits by 0.17 cubic inches. NASCAR dropped a 20-ton anvil on Long, suspending him for 12 races while slapping on a 200-point penalty and $200,000 fine. It was an immediate death knell for a team without a sponsor, whose 35th-place finish that day only paid five grand. Banned from the Cup track over the summer, Long focused on his family away, putting his own team aside while working a full-time job as utility man for Front Row Motorsports. It wasn't his dream, but it remained a way to earn a living in NASCAR as he looked to rebuild his future. In mid-November, Front Row made end-of-season cutbacks with the # 34, and Long was among those let go. Still, Long trudges on, telling his story and begging for work to anyone in the business who'll listen. Just a few weeks back, he seemed to land a job as a start-and-park driver for a Nationwide team -- something he's been adamantly against doing throughout his career -- but the spot went to a "better fit." Right now, that's easier said than done. As a contract employee, Long was unable to collect unemployment, and was recently scammed $1500 by a job hunting service that took him to small claims court. That leaves the underdog in desperate straits, selling off his Cup car and paying his bills by dipping into the money that was raised by fans for his fine. With Speedweeks looming, Long's plan is to drive an ARCA hauler down for rookie Sean Corr, using the first week at Daytona to network and search for any NASCAR job he can find. He still has a Nationwide car he hopes to bring to the track someday, but whether he'll ever get back in Cup with his own team seems unlikely at best. Sports Illustrated
NASCAR talks to teams about Talladega and tire tests NASCAR officials met with team principals on Tuesday to discuss upcoming initiative for the new season. One subject discussed was the possibility of a one-day test at Talladega before the Charlotte open test on March 23-24. Sprint Cup Series director John Darby confirmed that NASCAR is looking for a date. The one-day session at the superspeedway will help determine which restrictor plate will be used at the track and will allow teams to use spoilers instead of a rear wing. Other topics on the table included moving the fuel hole forward on the cars to accommodate the spoiler and shrinking the number of Goodyear test participants to three teams per test once again. Roush Fenway Racing crashed the three-car testing policy in Darlington in 2007 during the Car of Tomorrow rollout, prompting Goodyear to change their rules and invite representatives from each manufacturer. Now with Penske Racing providing the only Dodges in the garage, the sentiment from the competition is that the team's camp would have an unfair advantage. Fox Sports
Nelson Piquet Jr. - from F1 driver to lowly ARCA driver
Nelson Piquet Jr. is pleased to confirm that he has finalized plans for his first USA based event. He will race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on 6 February in the ARCA Racing Series ‘Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200’ with Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) and will make his appearance in the No. 6 Toyota. ESR won the 2009 ARCA Championship with current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Justin Lofton. The ARCA Racing Series is a championship running vehicles comparable to NASCAR Sprint Cup cars.
Eddie Sharp talked about Nelson’s forthcoming race: “We are excited to have Nelson driving for us in Daytona this year. He will represent ESR well, and we believe he will gain some good learning miles in a stockcar, especially racing at Daytona.”
Talking about his forthcoming races, Nelson enthused: “I’m very excited! I can’t wait to reach 200mph side-by-side and rubbing paint! The plans for the season are coming together really well and I am racing with a very strong team. I can’t wait to get out on track!”
AT&T Williams confirm Valtteri Bottas as test driver
Williams on Friday said a new test driver has been signed to replace 2010 race seat graduate Nico Hulkenberg.
Valtteri Bottas is a 20-year-old Finnish driver managed by Mika Hakkinen, Didier Coton and new Williams shareholder Toto Wolff.
Last year, Bottas was the highest placed rookie in the F3 Euroseries, finishing third in the championship and winning the F3 Masters.
"Valtteri's CV is very impressive, with a long list of success in the right junior formulae," said team boss Sir Frank Williams. "We hope that the role of official test driver in our squad will provide him with another step in his development."
Bottas will again contest the F3 Euroseries in 2010 with the ART team.
"Of course I will also be spending as much time as possible in the factory, doing everything from simulator work for my racing to actually working in different departments in the company," he said.
"I will be at Williams pretty much every day except for the times when I am racing and because the program is pretty intensive, it was part of the reason I decided to move to Oxford," added Bottas.
He said he will spend time in the Williams simulator this year and also do the young driver tests.
"Who knows if I might get another opportunity. We will see," he added.
Ferrari says it is only carmaker on F1 grid (GMM) Ferrari believes it is the "only car manufacturer still in formula one".
The famous Italian marque made the claim in the hours before its 2010 car, the F10, was unveiled on Thursday amid the new assembly lines for Ferrari road cars at Maranello.
But despite Honda, Toyota and BMW pulling out of F1, the grid still boasts carmaker names including Renault and Mercedes.
Pressed as to how he justifies thinking Ferrari is now the only car manufacturer in F1 when Mercedes is fielding a works team in 2010, president Luca di Montezemolo said: "You can not compare Ferrari with Mercedes.
Dyson team chooses Dunlop Dyson Racing is pleased to announce that it is joining forces with Dunlop Motorsports for the 2010 season of the American Le Mans Series.
"Dunlop shares the same commitment and passion for winning that we do," said Chris Dyson, Vice-President and Sporting Director. "They have shown tremendous strides in tire development the past two years and their tires will be a key part of our championship effort in 2010. We look forward to having Dunlop involved with our team as a technical partner."
Milka Duno - Based on the length of her autograph line, is the 2nd greatest IndyCar driver of all time behind Danica Patrick
IZOD IndyCar Series driver Milka Duno will be inducted into the Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame during ceremonies Jan. 30 in Laredo, Texas.
Duno will be the first Venezuelan athlete inducted into the Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1975 to recognize individuals who have excelled in sports and/or have contributed to the promotion of sports and goodwill in the Latino community.
"The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame is proud and honored to have selected Milka Duno as a 2010 inductee," Hall of Fame founder Pitin Guajardo said. "Milka was selected for her racing achievements, her personal excellence in education and her passion in stressing the importance of education to students of all ages."
IZOD IndyCar Series represented at Rolex 24 Raphael Matos co-drove the winning GT class car in the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona. This weekend, he'll aim for his second win co-driving the Brumos Racing Daytona Prototype that won the '09 overall title.
Matos, last season's Apex-Brasil Rookie of the Year award winner in the IZOD IndyCar Series, is among several IZOD IndyCar Series drivers who will compete in the 48th annual endurance race on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn Daytona International Speedway circuit. The green flag waves at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Jan. 30.
"I'm with the Brumos team that won the overall race last year and we have a great driver lineup, we have a great package and we have everything that it takes to win that race," said Matos, who competed in the Daytona Prototype class last year with Supercar Life Racing/Level 5.
"Seat time is always good. I spend a lot of time karting in the off-season, and anything you're driving you're keeping your focus and that's always going to help you in an IndyCar."
Kligerman to run first 5 races Penske Racing driver Parker Kligerman will continue his development in 2010, beginning the NASCAR Nationwide Series season behind the wheel of the #42 Dodge for Team 42 Racing. Kligerman, 19, will compete in at least the first five series races for the Eddie Smith-owned team, with the possibility of entering more events this season. Penske PR
Mutoh trains with Matsui in Japan In Indianapolis, it's not uncommon to find an IZOD IndyCar Series driver working out alongside another professional athlete as they train at sports performance centers in preparation for the 2010 season.
So it made sense that Hideki Mutoh would take the same approach as he prepares for the season while in Japan.
Mutoh, the 2008 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year, spent this week working out at the private training camp of Houston Astros second baseman Kazuo "Kaz" Matsui in Tokyo.
"I met Matsui when we were racing in Kentucky in 2008, and he came to the race when he was in town for a game (at Cincinnati)," said Mutoh, who returned the visit as Matsui's guest at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark and remained in contact with the former Japanese baseball MVP. "He was holding a private training camp in Tokyo and invited me."
Yates engines start 1-2-3 for Rolex 24 Roush Yates Engines is off to a solid start in their 2010 motorsports campaign by powering the top-three qualifying positions for this weekend’s Rolex 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway.
Round 1 was held Thursday at the World Center of Speed. This kick-off is a good forefront of things to come for the legendary engine builder, who has a total of 46 entries in Daytona’s overall Speedweeks activities.
Quote of the week "Tony George's legacy is not a very good one from my standpoint. His grandfather, Tony Hulman, did more for open-wheel racing than any other individual. Tony George did more to destroy it than any other individual. -- Mario Andretti commenting on the complete departure of Anton George from open wheel racing after starting the IRL, taking the crown Jewel, the Indy 500, from the hugely successful CART, which led to its downfall and with it IndyCar Racing forever.
CART was a stranger in a VERY strange land. They were trying to conduct "business" on the normal principles taught in business school. You remember……."Profit and Loss", "debit and credit"; "expenditures and revenues"; but when the IRL was born it was "Voodoo Economics," ticket give-a-ways, empty side pods, empty grandstands, promoters who don't promote and don't care because they are guaranteed to make a profit. Tony may have won his "WAR against the Infidels, the Non Believers of CART and Champ Car". But it was be a Pyrrhic Victory. ..Gettysburg 2003, where essentially no one was left standing and everyone was a loser! --Steve Levinson/AutoRacing1.com
ISC loses its shirt on merchandise business Int'l Speedway Corp. announced this morning that its $122.5M investment in Motorsports Authentics had completely lost its value, based on declining sales and the lack of potential for a turnaround. ISC, which wrote down the value of MA to zero, will not record any future profits or losses from the merchandise and apparel company that it jointly owns with Speedway Motorsports Inc. Bankruptcy remains an option for MA if it cannot renegotiate the terms of its licensing deals with several NASCAR teams. Those contracts are in default, ISC said, because MA has not been making payments on the full amount of the guarantees.
Danica to run 13 Nationwide race schedule Danica Patrick will compete in 12 NASCAR Nationwide Series races with the possibility of 13 in her debut season with JR Motorsports, co-owner and general manager Kelley Earnhardt announced. The only event uncertain on Patrick's schedule is the Feb. 13 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. The #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy is entered in the event, but its driver will not be determined until after Patrick's race in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) event on Feb. 6.
Rolex 24 Thursday Notebook It Will Be the 99 Car (Updated Thursday at 2:15 p.m.)
The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team changed plans. After a Riley Technologies rep inspected the crash damage from the morning incident, the team decided to remove the section of the chassis behind the driver compartment. Meanwhile, a new rear-end assembly is being put together at the Riley shop in Concord, N.C. Jimmie Johnson is providing aircraft to have the assembly shipped to Daytona. The team hopes to be back on track for Friday morning practice.
Which Car Will GAINSCO Race?
While Bob Stallings was announcing that the team will not race the No. 99 chassis this weekend - bringing in the No. 98 for the Rolex 24 - the team was re-evaluating damage sustained in a morning incident in the high-speed kink when a GT car moved in front of the No. 99 Chevrolet Riley.
"The Rolex 24 is essentially 10 races in one race so we have to bring a lot of extra parts," Stallings said. :What we don't bring is a second chassis. Backup cars are not allowed in this series to help contain costs."
Stallings said the incident twisted the chassis, with Jimmie Johnson bruised but OK. "He feels ugly but OK. He's not injured in any way. He may be sore, but there's no reason for him not to race this weekend."
The team - with Johnson pitching in with his aircraft - began planning to move engineers between Orlando and Houston, shipping in the No. 98 chassis.
St. Pete GP pit notes Sarah Fisher Poised for Return to St. Petersburg Sarah Fisher, one of the more popular drivers in the IZOD Indy Car Series will return to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for the first time since 2007 and comes to town this year as the first female owner/driver in the series. Fisher, who is one of only three women who drive in the elite open-wheel series, has been voted the most popular driver in the league four times and has made seven starts in the famed Indianapolis 500. In her last appearance on a street course, Fisher finished 15th in St. Petersburg in 2007.
NASCAR star writes off Grand-Am car The No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevy Riley sustained heavy damage in Practice 1 when NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson crashed with a GT car. The team is scrambling to retrieve its back-up car from Texas.
Vision Racing closes their doors Likely retreating completely from the racing world, and probably best to find a quiet island somewhere where he can live off the family fortune and not do any further damage to the racing industry, Tony George has shuttered Vision Racing.
George was CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and founder of the Indy Racing League until he was asked to resign from his role last year. He remained Chairman of the board until recently vacating that post as well, completely divesting himself from the operations of the family business. Now it seems, he has not interest in continuing to contribute anything to the sport, and appears to have given up looking for funding to run Ed Carpenter.
George formed Vision racing to add wheels to the grid, purchasing the remains of the defunct Kelley Racing, running his step-son Ed Carpenter since 2005. Over the course of those seasons, Carpenter had several notable team-mates including Tomas Scheckter, AJ Foyt IV, Paul Tracy and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The team's demise comes on the heels of one of their best seasons ever, with Carpenter showing well at a number of races and coming in a close second to Ryan Briscoe at Kentucky.
The Indianapolis Star reported Carpenter as saying: "We're suspending operations, but I don't know fully what that means. We're still pursuing opportunities to resume operations."
Penske's dev. driver Kligerman signs with Team 42 Racing Penske Racing driver Parker Kligerman will continue his development in 2010, beginning the NASCAR Nationwide Series season behind the wheel of the No. 42 Dodge for Team 42 Racing.
Kligerman, 19, will compete in at least the first five series races for the Eddie Smith-owned team, with the possibility of entering more events this season.
“We believe Parker has a bright future in NASCAR and, like many young drivers, what he needs most right now is experience,” said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. “This is a great opportunity for him to continue his development in the Nationwide Series. We are fortunate to be able to align with Eddie’s organization to further develop Parker’s potential.”
In 2009, Kligerman joined Penske Racing’s driver development program. Working with crew chief Chris Carrier in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, Kligerman posted a series-high nine victories last season while finishing a close second in the championship standings. He earned the chance to compete at the Nationwide Series level with the Penske team and won the pole at Kansas Speedway in his team and series debut before he produced a 16th-place finish in the race.
The relationship with the Eddie Smith team began at the 2009 Nationwide Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where Kligerman drove the No. 42 Dodge in his second series race and finished in 25th place.
“I am really looking forward to competing in the first five races of the season in the No. 42 Nationwide Series Dodge,” said Kligerman. “It is so important for me to continue to learn and develop at this stage of my career and I’m excited that I can continue to work with Penske Racing and hopefully get off to a strong start in 2010 with Team 42 Racing so we can position ourselves for more races this year.”
Carrier, who brings more than 20 years of experience as a NASCAR crew chief, will continue to call the shots for Kligerman as crew chief for Team 42 Racing.
“Everyone at Team 42 is thrilled to be working with an up-and-coming driver like Parker,” said Eddie Smith, owner of Team 42 Racing. “He has a lot of talent and we will work hard to make sure we get solid results for the team.”
Ford turns a profit for 2009 Ford Motor Co. made $2.7 billion in 2009, its first annual profit in four years. The automaker on Thursday also forecast a full-year profit in 2010. Earlier it had only promised to be "solidly profitable" in 2011.
Ford benefited from cost-cutting, a $696 million profit in its credit arm and popular cars and trucks like the Ford Fusion midsize sedan and Ford Escape small sport utility vehicle. It gained market share in North and South America and Europe, despite the worst U.S. sales climate in 30 years.
Montezemolo says Mercedes not a real factory team Mercedes are not a proper Formula One manufacturer and Michael Schumacher has only returned to racing thanks to Ferrari, the Italian team's president Luca di Montezemolo said on Thursday.
Seven-times world champion Schumacher, who has turned his back on his former team to come out of retirement with Mercedes, was not mentioned at the launch of Ferrari's 2010 car but Montezemolo failed to dodge questions afterwards.
"Let's not talk about Schumacher," Montezemolo told a news conference before being drawn into the differences between glamour team Ferrari and the new Mercedes outfit which bought world champions and former Honda-branded Brawn.
Tim Pappas’ Black Swan Racing announced officially today that it is returning to the American Le Mans Series in 2010 with a full-season effort. The Harvard, Mass.-based squad will enter a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT class, perhaps the most competitive one in Series history.
Pappas-owned entries are no stranger to the American Le Mans Series. The first, coincidentally, was a Porsche in GT2 that competed under the banner of Team Trans Sport in 2007. The car’s best finish was fourth in class at Petit Le Mans with Pappas, Terry Borcheller and Marc Basseng driving. Black Swan hit the track in 2008 with a Falken-shod Doran-Ford GT that competed in the second half of the season.
A1 Team USA awarded $4.5 million judgment against A1GP A1 Team USA Holdings LLC (“Team USA”) has been awarded a $4.5 million dollar judgment against A1 Holdings Ltd., Antonio Teixeira and Lyndhurst Holdings N.V., jointly and severally, for materially breaching a settlement agreement resulting from a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Team USA was a founding franchise holder in A1GP World Cup of Motorsport and competed in all 32 events held in the initial three seasons of the Series from 2005 to 2008. The team brought suit shortly after the Series improperly terminated its franchise agreement with Team USA and named Andretti Green Racing the U.S. franchise holder in October 2008, all in breach of the exclusivity provision in the Team USA franchise agreement.Team USA also sought to recover $1.2 million in prize money that the Series failed to pay Team USA during its three seasons of competition as well as other monies owed to Team USA that the Series failed to pay pursuant to its binding legal agreement with Team USA.
USF1 should be allowed to race a Ferrari - Montezemolo (GMM) New small teams like USF1 should be given the opportunity to use a customer chassis, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said on Thursday.
As the famous marque launched its 2010 car at Maranello, Italian Montezemolo expressed more misgivings about the competitiveness of the new names set to hit the grid this season.
Last year, the 62-year-old belittled the new entrants by facetiously suggesting F1 should be renamed 'Formula GP3' when they make their debuts in 2010.
"I would prefer three McLarens and three Renaults to three 'whatevers'," he said last August.
And on Thursday, Montezemolo added: "Like in the past we would be most happy to give an American team in the colors of the US - or a German team or an Australian team - a Ferrari," he said.
A day after she makes her stock car debut in an ARCA Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Danica Patrick will debut in a different role.
The IndyCar Series driver and soon to be NASCAR part timer, will star in a series of TV ads for sponsor GoDaddy.com that will make their first appearance during the Super Bowl and feature Danica spoofing famous scenes from movies.
The movies include “Weird Science”, “Flashdance” and a reprise of movie icon Marilyn Monroe’s famous scene from “The Seven Year Itch”.
“We thought we’d pay homage to some of these classic movie scenes with our iconic role model and add our traditional GoDaddy-esque touch,” said Bob Parsons, the company’s CEO and founder.
Seven Cup drivers on America's 100 Most Powerful Athletes list What is power? In athletics it is usually thought of as bulging muscles and dominating performance. But in sports today, power has a different meaning, as well: the earning potential of athletes, owners, agents, communities, and brands, ranging from breakfast cereal to beer. To determine who the 100 most powerful athletes are on and off the field, Bloomberg BusinessWeek teamed with CSE, an integrated sports and entertainment company that connects brands with fans, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek columnist Rick Horrow, to create the 2010 version of the Power 100. Unlike previous Power 100s, this year's ranking would focus only on the athletes-not the owners, the agents, the commissioners, or the coaches. On-field metrics included athletes who scored the best on the field (or the rink, the greens, or the court) over a two-year period. The more popular the sport, the more weight those achievements garnered.
Drivers on the list: Jimmie Johnson, 21st; Jeff Gordon, 28th; Mark Martin, 41st; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 45th; Tony Stewart, 48th; Carl Edwards, 67th; and Kyle Busch, 70th. Danica Patrick also made the list at 88th. Business Week
McMurray and Montoya test at Disney Jamie McMurray flew to Orlando, Fla., Tuesday morning for a two-day test at Walt Disney World Speedway with his new teammate, Juan Montoya. It was the first stock car test of the new year for both men and Montoya's first time in a Cup car since last fall's Homestead finale. From Orlando, the pair will head east to Daytona Beach, Fla., where on-track action for the Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand-Am Rolex Series season opener begins Thursday. McMurray, who last raced in the Rolex in 2005, when he was part of a Ganassi Racing team that finished fourth, is part of a four-man ensemble with Montoya, 2009 IndyCar Series champ Dario Franchitti and former IndyCar champ Scott Dixon. NASCAR.com
Oris strengthens AT&T Williams partnership for 2010
Rubens Barrichello with the Oris name all over him
The Swiss watch manufacturer Oris continues to support Formula One. New for this year is the large logo on the front of the drivers’ overalls as well as on the side of each driver’s helmet.
The extension to Oris’ deal will also see the brand logo in its familiar position on the front wing end plate of the two new FW32s. The Oris logo will also retain its place on the drivers’ gloves and will continue to appear on the left sleeve of the team uniform.
This will be Oris’ seventh full season as an Official Partner of the AT&T Williams team.
Oris Executive Chairman, Ulrich W. Herzog commented:” Our increased commitment to AT&T Williams, in this tougher economic climate, underlines our firm resolution to further build the image of Oris watches within the competitive and prestigious field of Formula One. We are convinced that, together with AT&T Williams, this will be particularly successful.”
Sir Frank Williams, the AT&T Williams Team Principal added, “I am delighted that Oris has increased its partnership agreement with the team which is now one of the longest standing relationships in our sponsorship portfolio. In return, the team will ensure that this is only strengthened during 2010 to honor Oris’ continued commitment to our goal of success on the race track.”
Audi extends driver line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
(L to R) Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer
Audi Sport leaves nothing to chance in its endeavor to bring the prestigious Le Mans trophy back to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Not only the technology of the Audi R15 TDI is being subjected to further development. The drivers’ line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France) has been extended as well.
For the world’s most famous endurance race, Audi has signed three new drivers, the Swiss Marcel Fässler (33), German André Lotterer (28) and Frenchman Benoît Treluyer (33), who will be sharing the cockpit of one of three Audi R15 TDI cars on June 12/13, 2010.
"In view of our strong competitors, we want to – and have to – be perfectly positioned in terms of drivers too," explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Therefore, we decided to extend our driver line-up. Marcel, André and Benoît attracted our attention during the past two years in a particularly positive way. They are used to handling fast prototypes and know each other extremely well. The three of them, and we too, are convinced that they are a very good combination for Le Mans."
Renault choose Petrov to race, Tung to be reserve (GMM) Renault has reportedly selected Vitaly Petrov to be Robert Kubica's teammate in 2010, while Ho-Pin Tung will be the reserve driver.
France's Auto Hebdo said Russian GP2 driver Petrov's deal will be unveiled at the launch of the R30 at Valencia on Sunday.
The news means that the top three finishers in last year's GP2 championship - namely Nico Hulkenberg (Williams), Petrov (Renault) and Lucas di Grassi (Virgin) - will all be rookies on the 2010 grid.
Auto Hebdo also said the Dutch born Chinese Ho-Pin Tung, a Gravity Sport-managed driver, will be Genii Capital-controlled Renault's reserve driver this season.
Barrichello to debut FW32 on Monday (GMM) Rubens Barrichello will give Williams' 2010 car, the FW32, its maiden track outing at Valencia on Monday morning.
The Brazilian veteran, who joins the Grove team after finishing third last season with Brawn, has been selected to drive the new Cosworth-powered single seater on the first two days of the opening test of the pre-season.
His rookie teammate Nico Hulkenberg will then take over on the final day of the Spanish session, according to Brazil's Globo.
"I arrive in Spain on Saturday," 37-year-old Barrichello said. "I cannot wait to drive the new car.
"I think Valencia will give some evidence about what will happen in Bahrain, but this winter it will be even harder to tell (the pecking order) because of the larger fuel tanks," he added.
Williams' single seater will feature existing team sponsors including AT and T, RBS, Oris, Philips, Randstad and Hell energy drink.
ARCA TV broadcast team Rick Allen and Phil Parsons will call the action this season for SPEED’s coverage of the ARCA Racing Series, beginning with the season opener live from Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 6 at 4:30 p.m. ET. SPEED will replay race coverage at 11 p.m. ET.
All eyes will be on newcomer Danica Patrick, as one of the most recognizable racers in the country is scheduled to make her stock car racing debut behind the wheel of a JR Motorsports entry in the Daytona ARCA event. SPEEDtv.com will offer enhanced coverage of Patrick’s effort, delivering exclusive streaming in-car cameras, a dedicated roof camera, as well as pit-to-car radio communications.
Auto Club Speedway, Atlanta and Darlington announce ticket promotions Three NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks announced new ticket promotions in the last week, including:
• Auto Club Speedway announced ticket packages for first-time customers that include a ticket, a prerace pit pass, a scanner and food vouchers for $75 for the Nationwide race and $99 for the Sprint Cup race. Richard Petty will visit the Party Zone area on Feb. 20, an area that costs $85 and includes five beverages, live entertainment and televisions (but not a race ticket). The track also announced that train service will no longer be available on race weekend.
• Atlanta announced a four-ticket, four-soda, four-hot dog deal for $159. It also is offering a two-day ticket package with prerace pit pass for $149.
• Darlington Raceway announced increased non-smoking, non-drinking family sections on its frontstretch and backstretch grandstands.
Rolex 24 broadcast schedule The Rolex 24 at Daytona, one of the crown jewel endurance races in the world, will unfold with 16 hours of live coverage on SPEED starting at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 30. The network will start with seven-consecutive hours, rejoining the race at 7 a.m. ET on that Sunday with nine hours to its conclusion.
Familiar personality Bob Varsha, Voice of Formula One on SPEED, and Grand American play-by-play announcer Leigh Diffey, will anchor SPEED’s broadcast booth. Former sports car racing veterans David Hobbs, Dorsey Schroeder and Calvin Fish – each with extensive endurance racing experience – will provide color commentary. Pit road will be navigated by Brian Till, Chris Neville, Kelli Stavast and Justin Bell, each gathering the latest throughout pit road and the paddock.
Gainsco All-American team ready for Rolex 24 Reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Champions GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and its returning all-star lineup of champion drivers will once again be the only all-American Daytona Prototype team competing in this weekend's 48th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 28 - 31, where Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, Jimmie Johnson and Jimmy Vasser will compete for the team's first victory in America's premier endurance race. The Rolex 24 starts at 3:30 p.m. local time Saturday with live coverage on SPEED beginning at 3 p.m. EST (12 p.m. PST).
Two-time reigning Rolex Series Champs Gurney and Fogarty will be joined by record four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Johnson and former CART Champ Car World Series titlist Vasser in the Rolex 24 for the third straight year. GAINSCO's drivers are the only returning all-American and all-champion lineup entered in the top-tier Daytona Prototype division.
IRL drivers mixup Rolex 24 field Raphael Matos co-drove the winning GT class car in the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona. This weekend, he'll co-drive the Brumos Racing Daytona Prototype that won the '09 overall title.
Matos, last season's Apex-Brasil Rookie of the Year award winner in the IZOD IndyCar Series, is among several IZOD IndyCar Series drivers who will compete in the 48th annual endurance race on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn Daytona International Speedway circuit. The green flag waves at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Jan. 30.
"I'm with the Brumos team that won the overall race last year and we have a great driver lineup, we have a great package and we have everything that it takes to win that race," said Matos, who competed in the Daytona Prototype class last year with Supercar Life Racing/Level 5.
Jarvis replaces Kristensen in Audi DTM lineup Audi AG recently confirmed its racing program for the upcoming season of the DTM series, proving once again that the German championship is regarded as top priority by the Ingolstadt based car maker. As announced at the beginning of last season, Tom Kristensen will no longer be part of the team next year, as he chose to switch completely to sports car racing. Under the circumstances, the Audi ABT Sportsline team proceeded to some changes prior to the start of the 2010 preparations, announcing that British driver Oliver Jarvis – formerly member of the Audi Team Phoenix in the DTM – has been promoted to the works' driver role within the Audi organization.
“We are thus giving our youngest ‘factory’ driver the chance to prove his prowess in a current DTM car. The performances Oliver has shown in his first DTM years at the wheel of a year-old A4 speak in his favor,” announced the Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
GTP Motorsports announces 5 car F2000 lineup (Ed Note: This is not to be confused with the USF2000 series, which is a spec series) GTP Motorsports, a long-time F2000 Championship Series team, has confirmed a full season five-car effort for 2010, highlighted by the new Radon chassis. GTP will field 2009 Masters Class champion Tom Fatur, alongside Watkins Glen winner Phil Lombardi in Radon-equipped Van Diemen cars. Peter Gonzalez and Blake Teeter will contest the full season in brand new Radon Rn.10 cars, while Paul Farmer completes the five-car lineup in a Mygale.
“The game plan in the long run is to go to the Radon chassis, but right now there aren't enough of them and there will be some development time going into the car,” said Team Owner Glenn Phillips. “Tom [Fatur] and Phil [Lombardi] will be running for points, so they aren't going to take a chance with an unproven entity.”
JDC MotorSports has continued preparations for defending its Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear title with the announcement that Caio Lara will be part of its 2010 driver line-up. It marks the second consecutive year the Brazilian will race for the Minnesota-based team.
In a repeat of 2009, Lara will be part of a talented multi-car effort by JDC MotorSports in the 13-race Star Mazda Championship. With continued support from MLD, ATW and Red Line Oil, Lara will again pilot the No. 19 JDC MotorSports entry with the goal of not only challenging for race wins, but also the championship title. The Brazilian native was a consistent front-runner in his second full-season of series competition last year, remaining part of the title chase until the closing stages of the season. Lara will partner fellow series veteran Gerry Kraut, as well as newly signed rookie Chris Miller at JDC MotorSports throughout the season.
American Rossi gets GP2 Asia ride At a press conference hosted in the presence of Mohammed Ben Sulayem, FIA Vice President and President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, Malaysian motorsports ambassadors Malaysia.QI-Meritus.Mahara.com announced the appointment of the rising US star Alexander Rossi as a driver. He will become Luca Filippi's team mate, supporting the team's participation at the second race of the third GP2 Asia season at the newly built Yas Marina Circuit.
Alexander Rossi commented: "I want to thank Peter Thompson, President and team founder of MalaysiaQI-MeritusMaharaGP.com and its chairman Raad S. Abduljawad for giving me the chance to compete for the rest of the season. I am very confident of the team’s abilities to prepare a race winning car. I am very much looking forward to getting back to work in Abu Dhabi. My goals are simple - 'to do what it takes to win.' I feel that I can deliver because this team is one of continual strength and determination."
Q & A with Ross Brawn Ross Brawn is a fortunate man. During his Formula One career he has already won everything there ever is to win, but it doesn’t look like he’s reached the end of the road just yet. And after sensationally clinching both world championships last season, Brawn's hoping to do the same again with the newly-formed Mercedes GP team. With Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and the might of Mercedes-Benz on his side, you wouldn’t bet against him….
Q: Ross, with Mercedes buying Brawn you’ve landed the ultimate coup. Can you briefly go through what led to the November announcement? Ross Brawn: Well, of course we started a partnership with Mercedes in December last year when they agreed to provide their engine to the team. They were very supportive during that difficult time, which lasted several months, when we didn’t know what the future of the team would be. I have a longstanding relation with Norbert (Haug). I’ve known him for many years. We have always fought strong battles but have been good friends afterwards. So as the team developed during the year we informed Mercedes that we were looking for greater stability and some investment in the team to ensure its security. We really informed them as a courtesy and not as a move to go beyond the relationship that we had. But Mercedes came back saying that they at least would like to discuss what our objectives were and what our ambitions for the team were. By then it was already midseason and we started to discuss things from there.
Force India's VJM03 to debut on February 10 (GMM) Force India's 2010 car will run for the first time on February 10, a spokeswoman clarified on Wednesday.
After it emerged recently that the VJM03 would not be ready for Valencia next week, we reported that the Mercedes powered car would make its debut on the third day of the subsequent group test at Jerez (February 12).
"The VJM03 has always been scheduled for a test debut on 10 February," said the spokeswoman. "This has been a long-standing plan and there is no deviation from this."
February 10 is the first day of the four-day Jerez test, and on the same day Red Bull's 2010 car will also make its debut.
Rolex 24 to reach 280M homes For many years, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Cask No. 16 Rolex 24 At Daytona has served as the unofficial "kick off" of the annual international racing calendar.
With that in mind, it stands to reason that race fans all over the world should have the opportunity to watch the Rolex 24 and other exciting Rolex Series events on television. Millions of international fans have the opportunity to do that, as GRAND-AM announced today that 2010 Rolex Series races will be available in 280 million households worldwide thanks to a partnership between the sanctioning body and its broadcast partners, SPEED, SPEED Latin America and ESPN International.
Valerio joins Scuderia Coloni Alberto Valerio will race with Scuderia Coloni in the GP2 Series 2010 season. The 24 year-old Brazilian driver signed the agreement with the team in the past week and will indeed drive one of the Dallara-Renault cars raced by the Italian outfit throughout the season. For Scuderia Coloni it’s a first rate pick, because Paolo Coloni’s expert eyes did notice Valerio’s growth during the 2009 championship: not only the Brazilian driver was consistent but he also clinched his first GP2 victory, in Silverstone race 1, with a dominating performance in which he managed to overtake the future Renault F.1 driver, Romain Grosjean.
OAK Racing Team Mazda France confirms 2010 plans After a 2009 season which brought six podiums in eight races, OAK Racing Team Mazda France will continue to concentrate on the LMP2 category in 2010. The team will run two Pescarolo chassis in the five-round Le Mans Series and hopes to participate with its two prototypes at the Le Mans 24 Hours. After winning the Asian Le Mans Series in Japan, the #24 Pescarolo has already earned a guaranteed invite to the race, while an application for the second LMP2 car has been lodged with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).
Drivers Test at New Smyrna Tuesday Marcos Ambrose tested his #47 Kroger NASCAR at the half-mile high-banked New Smyrna Speedway. Preparing for his second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the Australian driver shared the track today with #13-Max Papis, #00-David Reutimann and #5-Martin Truex Jr. It's the first time Ambrose has been in a car in over two months. "I just want to dust off the cobwebs," said Ambrose. MarcosAmbrose.com
Denny Hamlin Tears ACLUPDATE Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin shouldn't have too much trouble driving a race car despite a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to JGR President J.D. Gibbs and doctors familiar with ACL injuries. Hamlin, 29, uses his left foot to brake as well as to control the clutch in his #11 Toyota.
"In essence, it's not that big a deal given what drivers normally have to do in the car," said ESPN analyst Dr. Jerry Punch, a former emergency-room physician.
"No two people are the same in terms of how much instability they have when they tear an ACL. Typically, somebody that is Denny's age, young and in great physical shape, can rehab that knee without having it operated on."
The ACL keeps the lower part of the leg from moving forward when a person stops running. Starting and stopping quickly would make the knee feel unstable. It doesn't have to do with rotation or side-to-side movement, Punch said, and the pedals could be adjusted to make it more comfortable. Reconstructive ACL surgery requires six to 10 weeks of immobility, and that's why Hamlin plans to wait until after the season is over, Punch said. He could have arthroscopic surgery to clean out the injured area and that would require only 10 days of being off his feet, but Gibbs said that no surgery is planned. Scene Daily
01/24/10 Denny Hamlin has a torn knee ligament and won't have surgery to repair it until after the upcoming NASCAR season. Hamlin says he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee playing basketball on Friday. The injury was first reported by ESPN.com after Hamlin pulled out of a skills competition for NASCAR drivers hosted by the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.
Hamlin had surgery in December on his right knee, and the new injury is unrelated.
Earnhardt, Sr., others honored Dale Earnhardt was honored with the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award Monday night at the 4th Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards hosted by the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA). For the first time all seven of Dale Earnhardt's former crew chiefs gathered on stage for a fireside chat moderated by long time Earnhardt gas man and Sirius NASCAR radio show host Danny "Chocolate" Myers. The crew chiefs, Bobby Hutchens, David Smith, Larry McReynolds, Kevin Hamlin, Andy Petree, Doug Richert and Kirk Shelmerdine, talked about the mischievous sense of humor that Dale had and his "never give up" attitude. Legendary NASCAR artist Sam Bass dedicated a one-of-a-kind creation designed specifically for the event. All Crew Chiefs and Richard Childress autographed the artwork, which will be auctioned off in support of the NCMA and the Dale Earnhardt Foundation.
Smith wants an end to Start-And-Park If Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith ran NASCAR, so-called start-and-park teams would be a thing of the past.
"(Something) that has to be stopped—and I hope NASCAR will do something about it, and I think they will—is start-and-park." Smith said during the announcement of a four-lane NHRA drag racing event, the Four-Wide Nationals, at zMAX Dragway, scheduled for March 25-28. "That's a disgrace to our sport. I haven't understood that yet, but they've learned now that they can make a lot of money by doing that 'cause they're not expending any if they go out and run 10 laps and park. So I hope NASCAR will put a stop to that." Sporting News
NASCAR's biggest hero comes up with another lame excuse for his pathetic driving
To hear Dale Earnhardt jr tell it, a succession of pit-road mistakes during Speedweeks at Daytona derailed his entire season. After sliding through his pit stall in the Feb. 14 Nationwide Series race, Earnhardt drove past his pit box under caution early in the following day's Daytona 500. Later in the race, he drew a one-lap penalty for pitting on the front white line of his pit box. Trying to regain the lost lap, Earnhardt subsequently triggered an eight-car wreck that took out several of the strongest cars in the field.
"Nothing is easy, but coming down at Daytona and getting in your stall is like breathing," Earnhardt said when the media tour visited the Hendrick Motorsports campus. "It's like shifting—you don't think about when you're doing it. You just do it. But it made me start thinking about it, and I started to backtrack and I didn't progress and fix it, actually I got a complex about it and became sort of definitely not confident about doing it.
"I didn't anticipate missing my stall. That was kind of the beginning of it. Who knew that would be the little straw that broke the camel's back?"
Toyota to stop selling, building 57% of its cars In a stunning and unprecedented move, Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday halted sales of most of its popular models in the U.S. in response to growing concerns that possible defects may cause the vehicles to accelerate unintentionally.
The Japanese car maker, which long has been viewed as the leader in automotive quality, said it told its dealers to stop selling eight models, including the Camry and Corolla sedans, two of the biggest sellers in the U.S. market. Other models affected by the move include the RAV4 and Highlander sport-utility vehicles and the Tundra pickup truck.
Schu insists Mercedes talks began after 2009 season
Top ten must use qualifying tires in 2010
Schu insists Ferrari relationship 'good'
USF1 to make late February test debut (GMM) The first complete USF1 car will not be ready for its test debut until the end of February.
The new American team's sporting director Peter Windsor said earlier this month that the maiden track outing for the car, to be called Type 1, will take place at an Alabama circuit "at the beginning of February".
But speaking with Reuters at the Argentine automobile club (Automovil Club Argentino) this week, newly signed race driver Jose Maria Lopez gave a different date for the car's debut.
"The car should be ready between the 20th and 25th of February and then we're going to test drive it in Alabama," the 26-year-old said.
The 2010 season begins in Bahrain on 14 March.
Reuters added that Argentine Lopez has signed a one year deal with an option for 2011.
Gibbons see no future in Barnhart’s vision for the IRL A few weeks ago the VW Group's motorsports boss Kris Nissen said VW had no interest in competing in the IRL's much-discussed new IndyCar formula for 2012 with any of its brands--VW, Porsche or Audi. This appears to leave the IRL with Honda as its only possible engine supplier for the new formula which probably means the 2012 engine will be a turbo V-6 rather than the theoretical 'world formula' four-cylinder turbo. Meantime, the future of Indy car racing remains lost in heavy fog.
As we all know the commercial model for the IRL is in dire straights. Indy car racing desperately needs a technical kick-start and must embrace some serious 'green' technology but how can the teams afford to buy and develop new cars and new engines when the crowd numbers and TV ratings are so dismal and consequently sponsorship is so difficult to sell?
GM strikes deal to sell Saab brand to Spyker General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.
"Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.
“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we're all happy for the positive outcome,” Smith said.
Rolex 24 again features star-studded field Champions from GRAND-AM, NASCAR, IndyCar and international motorsports headline a star-studded lineup for the 48th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, set for Jan. 30-31 at Daytona International Speedway.
The event kicks off the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 - and the international motorsports schedule - when the green flag waves at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday. Live SPEED coverage begins at 3 p.m. and runs through 10 p.m., and resumed Sunday from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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